Traceability The Value to Manufacturing – MES Software

What is Traceability?

Infograph, MES Software, Zero Defects, value of traceability in manufacturing

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According to BradyID:

Traceability is the ability to capture and chronologically interrelate identifiable entities in a way that matters”  Current estimates indicate that only 20%-30% of eligible incidents are actually being traced today

Scale: On average, over 800 million defect opportunities occur in a typical full-time SMT assembly line per year.

Reach: Cost of catching a defect increases 10 fold at each step in the product life-cycle.

Exposure: On average it takes 100 days before a production defect is detected.

Brand Integrity:

  • 30% of firms encounter counterfeit components
  • 241% increase in counterfeit components
  • 55% of firms listed lack traceability procedures as a major challenge to global regulatory compliance

Traceability and Recalls:

Returns to Factory:

Traceability – Next Steps:

  1. Evaluate:  Understand you current traceability process
  2. Audit: Identify areas of improvement that are beneficial to the process and business
  3. Implement:  Design a traceability plan and execute it!

Wikipedia – Traceability:

Traceability is the capability to trace something.[1] In some cases, it is interpreted as the ability to verify the history, location, or application of an item by means of documented recorded identification.[2]

Other common definitions include the capability (and implementation) of keeping track of a given set or type of information to a given degree, or the ability to chronologically interrelate uniquely identifiable entities in a way that is verifiable.

Traceability is applicable to measurement, supply chain, software development, healthcare and security.

Traceability Case study:

We recently worked with a client who suffered on-going backlash from their customer.  Their systems were fairly robust.  Despite the systems, they shipped multiple labeling related errors outside their facility and to their clients assembly line.  Traceability capabilities for manufacturing companies offer in-dept insight to granular details such as:MES Software - Zero Defects - Traceability manufacturing - Chart

  • Certification level of Operator
  • Component verification and integrity
  • Documentation of process parameters
  • Go / No-go gauge results
  • Torque strategy success (or failure)
  • Sensor information and control
  • Advanced  Mistake-Proofing
  • Zero Customer Defects

After further investigation, the above process revealed they were batch pre-printing labels.  At the beginning of each shift, as supervisor would hand out a stack of pre-printed labels.  The operators would use the labels throughout the shift.  At the end of the shift, the labels weren’t inventoried and pulled from the processing area.  The labels were used at the end of the process to track total parts to go into a tote and trigger the need for a container label.  This resulted in on-going non-conformance issues.  It was recommended avoiding the pre-printing of labels and allowing bulk use  in your manufacturing process.  A competent MES Software can essentially eliminate these issues.  After working with the supplier, we suggested removing the behavior controls (operators regulation label origin) in lieu of something more robust – Ujigami PDMS.  They opted for a robust technical solution that began AT THE BEGINNING of the process. By hosting a barcode printed and scanner at the beginning of the operation, they were able to build in highly technical mistake-proofing with granular traceability.

Benefits – Traceability:mes software - traceability clock zero defects - time to improve black and red

  • Eliminate 3rd Party containment
  • Received recognition by THEIR customer
  • Eliminated labeling defects
  • Improved efficiency – OEE
  • Greatly Improved Quality
  • Empowered their Operators
  • Increased profitability




**Traceability Infographic Credit: